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Manti Teo brings the leadership and talent combination that the Chiefs desperately need.
The linebacker out of Notre Dame and Heisman runner up is the definition of an impact pick. Te'o has overcome adversity—losing both his girlfriend and grandmother to leukemia in a span of three weeks during the season—and oversaw Notre Dame’s turnaround from fringe bowl team to national title team.
Through all of this he has showed great leadership and continued to be class act on and off the field. Manti Te'o is not just a good story though, he’s also one heck of a football player.
En route to leading Notre Dame to a national title game birth, Te'o has made 101 tackles and seven interceptions this season. Te'o is not just a stat sheet stuffer though—he combines good size (6’1, 241 pounds ) with good speed.
His speed will allow him to match up with NFL tight ends and many running backs, making him a true three-down linebacker at the next level. Despite having outstanding physical skills, it is Te'o’s motor that makes him so good. He never quits on a play, whether rushing the passer, or pursuing a quarterback.
His ability to do both makes him special. It also must be mentioned that linebackers normally don’t go in the top five of the draft, which could cause some to call this pick a reach.
The 2013 NFL Draft is lacking a top quarterback though, so it is better to draft an impact talent at a need position (due to the Jovan Belcher incident) than to reach for a mid-first round talent like Geno Smith. The Chiefs should try to trade down in the first round, but even if they can’t, Manti Te'o is their guy.